Choosing your brand colors is an important step whether you are starting out on your own, or rebranding your business. There are many considerations, from color perception to how those colors will work across many different mediums. Here are some top tips to help you make the right choice for your brand.
Green is nurturing and relaxing, while red is stimulating and encourages action
Colors both on their own, and in combination tend to send a general message at first glance. Here is the “psychological” impact colors can have when people see them on a logo or advertisement:
Red: Red triggers intense feelings that can range from aggressiveness to love and trust. No doubt it holds impact and is associated with some strong and well-known brands including Coca Cola, Virgin and McDonald's.
Blue: Blue is a conservative color that is comforting and trustworthy. It is also calm and confident and has worked well for many trusted brands including Ford, Facebook and Samsung.
Yellow: Yellow is cheerful and energetic and tends to make people happy when they see it. Nothing is more recognizable than the yellow of McDonald’s golden arches, but more luxurious brands such as Ferrari have done quite well with this bright color.
Green: Green is associated with nature and organic, eco-friendly ideologies. It is calming and peaceful and used by companies such as Starbucks and Whole Foods.
Purple: Throughout history, purple has been associated with royalty. It is glamorous, powerful and romantic. Cadbury and Yahoo are probably the most recognized brands using purple in their logo.
Orange: Orange is a vibrant color that is happy and inviting. It is a color that stimulates creativity, enthusiasm and determination. Dominant orange logos include Home Depot and Harley Davidson.
Black: Black is often the go to color for luxury, elegance and high-end companies due to its mysterious, almost seductive nature. It is the color of choice for prominent designer labels including Chanel, Ray Ban, Dolce & Gabbana and Yves Saint Laurent.
Pink: Pink is playful and sweet and is viewed as nurturing and sometimes even a little sexy. It is strongly feminine and is used by brands that include Barbie, Victoria’s Secret Pink and La Senza.
Brown: Brown is not a very exciting color, but does provide positive feelings including dependability, reliability and support. This might explain why it is used by companies such as UPS. However, it is also very common for chocolate, coffee and even alcoholic beverage companies.
It is important to ensure your brand colors work well together and are easy to read. Keep in mind poorly paired colors can become impossible to read when viewed on a computer monitor or cell phone. The good news is, that whether you are designing something on your own, or approving something designed by a graphic artist, you can look on your cell phone or computer to see how well it works.
Do some research to view your competition. Make sure your logo is not too close to theirs. You want to stand out from them so there is never any confusion. Although there might be common use of certain colors in your industry, how you use them can make a world of difference.
Reversing how color appears on a logo, for example can work well to differentiate you from the rest. If they use red as the background, use red for the text or emblem instead. If they use a fancier font, go for something in a sans serif. These changes will help give your logo its own unique flair.
Below is an example of how to apply color to avoid being too similar to the competition. The logo on the left uses a solid red background and detailed "serif" font, while the logo on the right uses red for the text on white in hand with a simple, "sans serif" font.
Hire a Designer
Working with a designer is always a good idea when it comes to your brand. They will ensure your logo looks professional and works well across varied mediums and applications. You can advise them on the colors you wish to use and they will make it work for you.